Information representing the College should be accurate, accessible (Section 508 compliant), current and approved. Information includes but is not limited to body text, announcements, photos, captions, videos and graphics. It is the responsibility of the division or unit posting the information or the public website content manager to ensure accuracy.
Some forms of content are not allowed on GGC websites and social media sites, except when produced as an educational asset. Content, whether in text, imagery or multimedia form, falling into this category or considered to be in “poor taste” may not be approved for the site. Examples of some questionable content include, but are not limited to:
- References to alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs, tobacco and smoking products
- References to gambling, lotteries or sweepstakes
- Unfavorable references to race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin or disability
- Advertisement or promotion of services or goods outside the College, except with official GGC partners
Imagery, including photography, should be accessible (Section 508 compliant) and an accurate and appropriate representation of GGC, supporting the style and brand of the College.
Images should be properly sized and formatted for excellent quality and quick downloading; therefore JPGs, GIFs, and PNGs are acceptable file types for images. The greatest width or height of any uploaded image should be no more than 1000 pixels. The CMS will automatically produce a variety of image sizes optimized for the website.
The Office of Public Affairs offers professional photography services to the GGC community upon request.
Accessibility (Section 508 Compliance)
The GGC public website falls within the scope of websites that are required by federal law to comply with Section 508 compliance, which mandates that information should be equally accessible to people with and without disabilities. Therefore, in order to comply with this federal mandate, the College’s website should comply with the guidelines defined in the University System of Georgia’s Accessibility website: http://www.usg.edu/siteinfo/accessibility.
The digital communication team reserves the right to remove or refuse to link to non-compliant content, including documents, images, videos and websites, until proper adjustments are made. The following checklist has been provided to serve as a general guide for ensuring Section 508 Compliance for Microsoft Word documents; however, not every item is limited to Word documents and may be utilized in other programs such as Microsoft PowerPoint:
Use Microsoft Word version 2010, and save the document as a .docx. Documents should be in this format in order to run an accessibility check.
Use Word styles when possible
- Use the styles feature in Microsoft Word instead of enlarging font size, bolding, underlining, etc. to emphasize text because screen readers do not interpret this formatting for users. Emphasis of section headers, titles and the like needs to be properly formatted through Word styles.
- Use Page Breaks instead of hard returns to begin a new page.
- Use the bullet and numbering functionality in Word instead of manually creating numbered or bulleted lists.
- Avoid using tab(s) or space(s) for spacing. Use styles and proper indentation functions, columns or tables.
- Do not create tables or columns manually by using tabs or spaces. Instead, use the Word column format function, or create a table. When creating a table, do not use only columns and manually enter or space information to give the appearance of multiple rows, because the screen reader will interpret all of the data in the left column first, before moving onto the next column. Each column should have an accompanying row.
- The Table of Contents should be automatically generated and updated using Word style tags. Do not manually create the Table of Contents.
- Verify the structure of a document by viewing the Navigation Pane. (To see Navigation Pane, click on View, then check Navigation Pane in the “Show” section.) Header tags will show in the Navigation Pane and are used like a Table of Contents by screen readers. This allows visually impaired users the ability to navigate through various sections instead of having to listen to an entire document from beginning to end.
- Tables should include a table header row, which should be defined as repeating. Each row should include only one idea per row, as to not confuse the user utilizing the screen reader. Tables should not have merged cells because screen readers do not recognize merged cells.
- Tables should have alt text entered.
- All images should have alternate (alt) text associated with them that describes the image (example: “flowers in a field”). This text will be spoken by the screen reader and should be the text equivalent of the image. The text will also display in a PDF version of the document when the user hovers over the image with the mouse. Decorative images may have quotation marks (“”) for alt text, indicating a null value. Page 6 When entering alt text, keep in mind that it is the alt text description, not the title, that is read by the screen reader. As an example, using a filename as the alt text may pass the automated checks, but would not be considered compliant since the text is not the text equivalent of the image.
- Images should be formatted as “in-line”. If they are not, the image may be deleted from the PDF version when converted from the Word document.
- File names should not contain any spaces.
- Fonts should be sans-serif and limited to: Arial, Courier, Verdana, Times New Roman, Tahoma, Helvetica or Calibri.
- Font size should be between 12 and 18 for body text.
- The font color should be set to automatic (black). This is helpful for visually impaired users who may have difficulty with viewing specific or multiple colors.
- Do not use watermarks or images in the background. Documents should have high contrast color between font text and background.
- Do not use color only to indicate any kind of meaning. Screen Readers do not read color.
- Do not use flickering or flashing graphics/animated gifs.
- All links should be hyperlinked and verified for accuracy.
- Remove any hyphens used in word breaks.
- Text boxes need to be removed (i.e. using borders around text areas). Screen readers often cannot read what is inside the text box. Instead, a table with a border may be used for a similar look.
- Keep in mind that footers will be stripped out in conversion from a Word document to the PDF version. Make sure no critical content is within them, if used.
- Use underscores for fill-in-the-blank-lines, instead of “drawn” line objects. Drawn line objects are treated as images, and if they are used, then each one needs alt text and to be formatted as “inline” style.
- For cognitive disability, content should be clear and concise.
- Abbreviations and symbols: Avoid using symbols/abbreviations, if possible. Some abbreviations are translated to full words by screen readers, while others are read as is. Additionally, symbols are sometimes ignored or read as is. Here are some examples using the NVDA screen reader:
- 3 sem hrs of A = 3 x 4 = 12 reads as “3 sem (not semester) hours of A equals 3 “x” (the letter, not the multiplication symbol) 4 equals 12”
- <= reads as equal, not less than or equal to
- >= reads as equal, not greater than or equal to
- The section symbol is ignored
- xx-yy – hyphen is ignored
- The course abbreviation “ENGL” is spoken as an actual word and not an abbreviation
- Asterisks, pound signs, quotations, parentheses, greater than signs, less than signs, underlines, italic and bold symbols and formatting – are generally ignored by screen readers
Run accessibility check
- In Microsoft Word 2010, go to File, Info Section, Check for Issues and Check Accessibility. The inspection results will show in a right-hand column. All errors should be addressed before being submitted as content. However, warnings may be addressed on a case-by-case basis.
- Send the compliant Word document to the digital communication team at email@example.com for review and approval.
It is the responsibility of the College community to facilitate continuous improvement of GGC’s web presence. Focus groups, surveys and constant feedback will be solicited, as well the establishment of a Web Advisory Council (WAC) for this purpose. The WAC includes representatives of various key areas on campus who meet each semester to evaluate feedback from the campus community and provide guidance to the digital communication team. Members will also play a key role in communicating issues to the Council as well as communicating changes to their areas. Additionally, personnel may submit feedback about the website through their designated Web Council Advisory representative or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.